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In a crowded field of rookies introduced this split, Evil Geniuses’ bot laner Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki has been awarded the LCS (League of Legends Championship Series) rookie of the split award for the 2021 summer split. The 17 year-old professional joined Evil Geniuses’ starting LCS squad at the start of the summer split, replacing Matthew “Deftly” Chen, after spending the spring split in the organization’s amateur squad.

Danny also earned a second LCS All-Pro Team spot with 58 points. First and third compiled 122 and 47 points respectively. Across the 47 voters, including media, team and broadcast ballots, he took home 37 first choice votes for the award. Other rookies on the ballots included Golden Guardians mid laner Nicholas Antonio “Ablazeolive” Abbott, Dignitas bot laner Toàn “Neo” Trần and Immortals top laner Mohamed “Revenge” Kaddoura.

Danny’s LCS rookie of the year worthy split

Danny started out the split slow, going 0-3 with his team in the first week. But he rebounded and became one of the most talked about rookies of the split. He finished the regular season in the top five for KDA (kills/deaths/assists ratio), kill share percentage and damage per minute according to Oracle’s Elixir. While he did not top the league in any laning statistics, the young bot laner showed maturity by not giving away leads or dying when his oft-roaming support Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun wasn’t at his side.

All in all, Danny played 11 different champions in his inaugural split with standout performances on Senna, Ezreal and Tristana. Tristana was the rookie’s best champion pick by far, as he owns a 100% win rate on the champion. He played Tristana seven times and averaged a 14 KDA in those games.

Danny continued his lustrous LCS rookie split in the playoffs by defeating Dignitas 3-1 in the first round. In the process, he bested fellow rookie of the split nominee Neo. Danny and the rest of the Evil Geniuses will take on 100 Thieves in Round 2 of the double-elimination bracket. A shot at a 2021 World Championships spot will be up for grabs.